Wednesday 21st June 2017

CIOS LEP welcomes Space Industry Bill

Government plans to make the UK the most attractive place in Europe for commercial space flight have been welcomed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

A new Space Industry Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech, will introduce new powers to permit launches from British soil.

It will licence a range of new commercial spaceflight technologies, including spaceplanes and satellite launch systems, and create a regulatory framework for the safe operation of UK spaceports.

The LEP is leading a bid to create Spaceport Cornwall at Cornwall Airport Newquay as part of the Aerohub Enterprise Zone, which now includes Goonhilly Earth Station.

LEP director Gavin Poole, said: “At a time when the legislative programme has so many competing demands, it is hugely encouraging that the Space Industry Bill has been included, and is a measure of the Government’s high commitment to grow commercial space activity in the UK.

“We believe our offer in Cornwall is deliverable and compelling and we were delighted to confirm a few weeks ago that one of our commercial partners, Orbital Access, will be opening an office at Goonhilly later this year and collaborating in developing our spaceport ambitions.”

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay said: “Since becoming MP I have championed Cornwall Airport Newquay as the best location for the first UK Spaceport. This is an amazing opportunity for the investment and better paid jobs we need in mid-Cornwall. It is clear with our prime location, Aerohub Enterprise Zone, proximity to Goonhilly Earth Station and existing infrastructure that Newquay is the frontrunner. I am delighted to see this further legislation come forward in today's Queen's Speech and will continue to do all I can to work with the Government, LEP and space industry to bring the Spaceport to Cornwall.”

The Government aims to increase the UK’s share of the global space economy from the current 6.5% to 10% by 2030, and the commercial spaceflight market alone is expected to be worth some £25 billion over the next 20 years.

Spaceport  Director Miles Carden, said: “We are determined that Cornwall will play an important role in the development of commercial space launch by offering safe and low-cost access to space from Newquay, with spacecraft tracking and communications facilities from Goonhilly.

“The next step in our Spaceport Cornwall bid will be presenting our plans to the UK Space Agency alongside our commercial partners, and we expect that to happen in a matter of weeks.”